Background and objectives:
Cities in Somalia have experienced a strong influx of internally displaced people (IDPs) and returnees from refugee camps outside the country. The process of rapid urban growth has been aggravated by recurrent periods of severe drought and a steadily growing urban economy, which has caused an additional influx of rural people. The inability of urban centres to absorb the large numbers has resulted in uncontrolled sprawl and densely populated informal and formal settlements, inhabited mainly by destitute new-arrival communities. This is witnessed particularly in the regional capitals of Hargeisa and Garowe.
Cities lack the institutional capacity to effectively deal with urban planning issues, and the settlement of IDPs and returnees is a highly problematic issue. Land and tenure policies are ambiguous and generally unfavourable for the urban poor. The provision of basic facilities such as water supply, sanitation and shelter is inadequate in the informal settlements, leaving their inhabitants in very poor living conditions.
The project supports the provision of secure tenure, shelter and basic services, in particular sanitary facilities and alternative options of water supply, to destitute IDP families in Garowe and Hargeisa-Ayaha, in particular those headed by women and members of vulnerable groups.
The main activities included:
- Training of returnees and IDPs in production of local construction materials such as building-blocks, stone quarrying, sand mining and assembly of building components, including doors and window frames.
- Providing job opportunities by establishing small-scale, community-based enterprises for production of local building materials
- Supply and distribution of materials that are not locally produced, or cannot be acquired by the communities
- Training of IDPs and returnees in construction skills, including the provision of construction tools and equipment.
- Developing community settlement governance and management techniques
- Support to self-help construction of adequate shelter units
The results achieved were:
- Construction of 330 housing units and three technical workshop facilities completed.
- Planning of new neighbourhoods, enabling more efficient settlement patterns and provision for basic services
- Selection and voluntary relocation of beneficiaries to new settlement areas.
- Over 700 beneficiaries trained in construction skills, with over 60 per cent finding employment in the local building industry.